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Where to Fly Fish in Eastern Oregon: The Owyhee River

Deciding where to fly fish in eastern Oregon is easier now that we know about the Owyhee.


by Jim Bottorff from Bottorff Guide Service

Located in Malheur County in Eastern Oregon the Owyhee River is considered to be one of the best brown trout fisheries in the lower 48 states.  

The Owyhee is a tail water fishery that is known for producing brown trout that average 17” – 21” with some true monsters over 24”.  

The brown trout dominate the river but rainbows are just as big as the browns and offer fly fishers a variety of trout species to target.  

The Owyhee River offers spectacular views of high desert vistas and stunning rock formations with plenty of sun drenched days.   

The Owyhee River is considered a Blue Ribbon Trout Fishery. What does it take to earn such a prestigious title?  

The following criteria must be met to become a blue ribbon fishery:

• Water quality and quantity

• Water accessibility

• Natural reproduction capacity

• Angling pressure

• Specific species

Fly Fishers can expect to see some exceptional bug hatches on the river, at times there will be multiple hatches of aquatic insects.  Fish and Game Biologist’s estimate insect populations at 25,000 bugs per meter throughout the river system.  

With water temps that don’t exceed 60 degrees on the hottest of days this is the perfect recipe to produce a large healthy trout population.  

The Owyhee offers some spectacular nymph and streamer fishing as well, so don’t get discouraged if you miss the hatch.  

Bottorff Guide Service headquartered in Meridian Idaho specializes in walk and wade fly fishing trips on the Owyhee River, and welcome beginner to expert fly fishers.  

The guides at Bottorff Guide Service are very knowledgeable and give simple instruction to improve your experience level and catch rate on the fly.  

Owner Jim Bottorff has over 30 years experience fishing the Owyhee River and invites you to come join him on this World Class Fly Fishing River.

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